Every fan of the "Red Devils" knows where the Manchester United Stadium is located. Old Trafford, or Dream Theater, is built in the southwestern part of Greater Manchester. To date, he can take in the stands about 76 thousand viewers, which is the second indicator in England in capacity.
The stadium is home to Manchester United for more than a hundred years (considering the period of World War II, when the structure was temporarily destroyed). The stadium "Manchester United" (the name of "Old Trafford" arena received in honor of the eponymous district) has the highest rating of UEFA - 5 stars, and belongs to the arena of the premium class. It is noteworthy that near the arena a railway station has been specially built, and on the day of the match all the fans are transported by a train.
Construction, the first football matches and new records
The Manchester United Stadium was built in 1909 by a Scottish architect named Archibald Litchch. The journalists invited to the opening noted that "Old Trafford" is the most impressive structure they have ever seen. The stadium received the highest scores in terms of comfort and roominess.
By the way, in a few years in the English championship was set the attendance record (70,500 spectators), which fell on the home match of the "red devils" and "Aston Villa". Then the hosts suffered an unfortunate defeat with the score 1: 3. On the eve of World War II, the final of the FA Cup between Wolverhampton and Grimsby Town, held at Old Trafford, gathered almost 77 thousand spectators in the stands, which became a new record.
As a result of the bombing by German pilots in the spring of 1941, the stadium "Manchester United" received significant damage. The newly constructed roof of the arena and part of the stands were demolished.
Restoration of the building began in the postwar years due to state compensation and the club's own funds. Gradually, the restoration of the stands took place, the roof was reconstructed, and new modern lighting, meeting the latest European requirements, was installed. The first matches at the renewed stadium took place in the summer of 1949, and the restoration of the arena was completed only 10 years later. However, this was not the end of perestroika.
The 1966 World Championship was approaching, and the Manchester United home stadium could still boast of such architectural flaws as, for example, the columns hiding the view, the improperly designed roof, which in the daytime divided the green lawn into a sunny side and a shaded . Deficiencies were eliminated, and the arena eventually took the form of a bowl. Such a maneuver made it possible to create a special acoustics inside the design that preserves all sounds inside, thereby strengthening the audio effect for both fans and the players themselves. The latter, according to the idea of the management of the club, this should also be further motivated.
With the introduction of technical innovations at Old Trafford, the number of seats available for the fans has steadily decreased. So, by the beginning of the eighties of the last century, the arena lost about twenty thousand seats from the original number. It is quite natural that with the growing popularity of the club at the turn of the century, work on improving the stadium was conducted in this direction.
At the beginning of the millennium the second stage was awarded to the West Stand of the stadium, and after 2006 the second stage was built in separate quadrants, which allowed to increase the capacity of the bowl to today's 76,000 spectators.
Shortly before this event, Old Trafford hosted the first ever Champions League final in its history. May 28, 2003 in the decisive match for the main soccer trophy of the Old World came together two Italian teams, "Juventus" and "Milan". As a result of a stubborn struggle and a regular draw after the expiration of playing time in the penalty shootout, players in red and black T-shirts were stronger.
In 2010, the stadium "Manchester United" marked an important historic date - the centennial anniversary of the erection of the arena. For the solemn events and the laying of a memorable capsule, the organizers of the holiday invited to Old Trafford the relatives of the football players and the management of the club involved in its opening. Among the others were the descendants of the legendary Scotsman Archibald Litch.
Structure of the stadium
The stands of "Old Trafford" surround the football field of the stadium from four sides and received the names of the corresponding parts of the world. To date, only the southern side has one level, all the other sectors are two-tier. In addition, the North and South stands have a second, unofficial, names. The first of them bears the name of the legendary mentor "Manchester United", who headed the "red devils" for a quarter of a century, Sir Alex Ferguson. In this part there are mainly administrative boxes, popular club establishments and the main museum of the mankunians. For one match, the tribune accepts an average of about 25,000 fans.
Located opposite the South tribune bears the name of no less legendary personality - the attacker Bobby Charlton. From here the best view of the field opens, so in this part, in addition to the spectator seats, there are special commentary boxes.
The Western tribune, it's the Stratford End, traditionally accepts the "red devils". It's always very noisy, because twenty thousand of the most dedicated fans sing songs dedicated to the club, throughout the ninety minutes of the match. Here, as a rule, during fights fans hang out thematic banners, club flags and other attributes.
Less than the rest (twelve thousand) can take in its sectors the Eastern Stand. These places are usually reserved for people with disabilities and fans of the club opponents.
Derby of Manchester
Manchester is a city of two football teams with great stories. Just like in Rome there are fans who hate or carelessly like Lazio or Roma, Catalonia - Barcelona or Espanyol, Milan - Inter Milan or Milan, Manchester has two Army of fans. Some are devoted to the "red", the latter are true fans of "Manchester City". These are two opposing camps, praising the victories of their club and rejoicing at the unfortunate failures of their opponents. Ask the fan of the "Blue Moon", as the stadium called "Manchester United", and do not be surprised if he just passes you by.
Interesting fact: in the postwar years, "United" temporarily left without their own arena, and while it was being restored, the team was forced to conduct home matches at the stadium of the principal opponents from the "City". Not only that on "Main Road" uninvited guests were often booed, and the rent for the "reds" was set at five thousand pounds a year, which at that time was a very serious amount.
Use outside football
From the first years of construction, "Old Trafford" was used not only for football matches. At different times, there were fights in the game of baseball and cricket. In 1993, 40,000 spectators watched in the stands of the arena in a boxing match, and in 1998 the Manchester United Stadium received the finals of the Rugby Super League. To date, the arena is used for various concerts and social events.
Work with fans
In the days of home matches near the arena and in the official stores of the club, the company sells branded paraphernalia. Almost all souvenirs, from trinkets to t-shirts, are applied to the photo of the stadium "Manchester United" or players of the "red devils".
By the way, still you can buy the paraphernalia with the image of the legendary mankunians who have not played football for a long time. In addition, on a permanent basis, the club museum "Manchester United", where for fans and tourists conduct interesting excursions, telling about the history of the team, famous personalities and facts. The museum's archive is constantly updated with new photos from the team's matches. There are also footage of the last European cups of the "red devils" of the group round, for example, photos of the victorious matches of Manchester United - Feyenoord and Zarya - Manchester United.
In the near future, the stadium "Old Trafford" again waiting for change. For example, in the reconstruction of the South Stand, the management of the club plans to invest about 100 million pounds (an amount that exceeds all previous upgrades combined). An increase in the number of seats awaits and individual quadrants of different sectors. According to the engineers, the stadium after the reconstruction will be able to take in the stands to 96 thousand fans.